Care firm paid £63,000 to look after dead person

A care provider was paid nearly £63,000 by Kent County Council last year to look after someone who had died, it has emerged.

The local authority has come under scrutiny after losses to fraud and human error rocketed five-fold to £2.8m in the 2023-24 financial year.

A report by its counter fraud team also showed more than £16,000 was paid in salaries to council workers who had left the authority, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Its counter fraud manager, James Flannery, said the high financial losses were down to “better awareness” of reporting irregularities.

The report, discussed at a Governance and Audit Committee meeting on Thursday, said in 2022-23, £517,000 was lost to human error and fraud.

Committee chair, councillor Ros Binks, said the errors had led to the “wasting” of public money.

“I don’t quite understand how we can be paying people who aren’t on the payroll or paying an invoice without checking it and how we can have care being delivered and not know they are under-delivering," she told the meeting.

Deputy council leader Cllr Peter Oakford queried whether “staff and managers are not doing their job correctly”.

But Mr Flannery said the "irregularities" had always occurred.

"It’s just that they haven’t necessarily always been reported to the internal audit," he added.

He added "significant work" had been carried out by the counter fraud team to raise awareness and work with management to "mitigate risk of irregularities occurring again."

The Local Government Information Unit also suggested that Kent's management systems were not "different to other large councils".

Jonathan Carr-West, its chief executive, said: “County councils are large and very complex organisations handling a vast number of transactions each year and they handle services across a huge spectrum."

Follow BBC Kent on Facebook, on X, and on Instagram. Send your story ideas to or WhatsApp us on 08081 002250.

More on this story

Related Internet Links